pilot news

OPTIMUM pilot studies showcased in Cape Town

April 11, 2017

OPTIMUM project pilot studies on proactive freight charging and multimodal route planning were successfully showcased at the "International Choice Modelling Conference" (ICMC), held in Cape Town, South Africa on April 3-5, 2017.

The first study to be showcased was “Factors affecting interurban freight route choice: perspectives from freight forwarders and truck drivers”, presented by Athena Tsirimpa and Ioannis Tsouros from the University of the Aegean's "Transportation and Decision-Making Laboratory". After introducing the OPTIMUM project and its research objectives, the presenters reviewed the main characteristics of the pilot case in Portugal, while emphasising relevant statistics and incentives. Also mentioned was the introduction of OPTIMUM's "Dynamic Charging" web service.

Next, Prof. Amalia Polydoropoulou joined Ioannis Tsouros for an overview of the second pilot study, “How different user segments perceive multimodal alternatives: A survey of three EU cities”. The study focused on how OPTIMUM’s intelligent route planning app can use enabling technologies to proactively improve the quality and efficiency of transport systems. The presenters also reviewed the pilot’s preparatory survey on travel behaviour in the cities participating in the pilot study--Ljubljana, Birmingham and Vienna.

The "International Choice Modelling Conference" brought together leading researchers and practitioners from across the world and across different areas of study, including but not limited to transport studies, marketing-related decision making, environmental valuation, and health economics. The aim of the conference was to review recent advancements in knowledge and understanding in methodology, and to highlight real world applications of "choice models", "stated choice" and "revealed preference" survey techniques.

Dynamic pricing can reduce congestion by shifting some traffic to alternative times, routes or modes — or by eliminating trips. Previous studies have shown that when transportation agencies implement variable pricing, drivers significantly shift their travel patterns around the pricing structures. Drivers reduce peak-period travels and take greater advantage of discounted, off-peak periods. The adoption of new, variably priced express lanes allows traffic to flow at higher speeds and volumes than general purpose lanes, thus reducing congestion. They also boost overall vehicle throughput.

The main aim of the proactive route planning app is to proactively facilitate decision making for efficient integration of transport modes. This is achieved by implementing a smart multimodal transit concept, which leads to improved quality, accessibility and utilisation of interconnected transport systems. Thus a complex model of the current traffic conditions, and a short-term prediction of these conditions, are realised on top of advanced real-time predictive analytics and a multitude of transport information.